Transformice and the mMO

I confess, I’ve been caught up in the phenomenon of Transformice. Its perfect chaos of cooperation and competition is thoroughly addicting.

This game fits into a niche that I find I really enjoy: The Moderately Multiplayer Online Game (I’m calling it an mMO). It’s bigger than a multiplayer game or board game with two to six players, and it’s smaller than a massively multiplayer game with thousands. Instead, you’re dropped into a room with about 25 people, and it creates a funny dynamic where you have lots of repeat encounters with the same players, but there’s also way too many people to keep track of and you’re thrown into new and unexpected situations all the time. In the past I’ve primarily seen this in shooters like Battlefield or Team Fortress 2, but I think it’s fantastic when it shows up elsewhere, like racing in Trackmania Nations. I’ll officially put it on my list to design a game for 15-50 people someday.

Try it out! Tips for new players: Your best resource is the quickly-improving Transformice Wiki. Learn your controls, and before you take a shot at being Shaman you should use /room <roomname> to go practice by yourself. Knowing a bit about anchors, ramps, bridges and elevators will prevent a lot of player frustration.

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